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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Plateau
by Tom Moeller  April 23, 2019

Retail gasoline prices edged one penny higher last week to $2.84 per gallon last week (1.5% y/y). The uptick followed four months of strong increase. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in gasoline pump prices. The seasonally-adjusted price slipped three cents to $2.78 per gallon after rising five cents during the prior week.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices eased to an average of $63.80 per barrel last week (-5.6% y/y) from $64.09 during the prior week. Oil prices had plunged to an 18-month low of $44.55 at the end of last year. Yesterday, prices rose to $65.70 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices edged higher to an average of $71.69 per barrel last week (-1.6% y/y) and were $74.17 yesterday.

Natural gas prices slipped to an average of $2.65/mmbtu last week (-5.2% y/y) from $2.72/mmbtu during the prior week. Prices remained below the early-March high of $3.28/mmbtu.

In the four-weeks ending April 12, gasoline demand eased 0.2% y/y, while total petroleum product demand declined 3.7% y/y. Gasoline inventories decreased 3.4% y/y, while inventories of all petroleum products gained 2.1% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 5.7% y/y in the last four weeks.

These data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY and DAILY databases. Greater detail on prices, as well as the demand, production and inventory data, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 4/22/19 4/15/19 4/8/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.84 2.83 2.75 1.5 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 63.80 64.09 62.37 -5.6 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.65 2.72 2.70 -5.2 3.15 2.96 2.49
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